Top your favorite fish, poultry, or veggie dish with a slice of this delectable Orange and Herb Compound Butter. Makes a perfect herb butter rub for Thanksgiving turkey, too!
Why Compound Butter?
Compound butter is the result of mixing plain butter with flavorful aromatics like herbs, spices, cheeses, and/or citrus. This citrus herb compound butter is excellent as a condiment for fish, chicken, meats of all kinds, vegetables, casseroles, bread and rolls; the list goes on. It's a lovely, flavorful addition to your holiday table, too.
Speaking of the holidays (and in particular the turkey-centric ones), we like to use this orange and herb butter for turkey preparation. (The flavors go perfectly with our Citrus & Herb Apple Cider Turkey Brine!) Before putting the bird in the oven, we rub this herby butter under and over the skin on the turkey breast and legs. This adds flavor, moistens the meat, and helps the skin cook up crispy and golden brown.
Citrus Herb Butter Ingredients
The ingredient list for this savory citrus herb compound butter is short and simple.
- Butter: We prefer to use salted butter, but unsalted butter works.
- Fresh sage: It is essential that you use fresh herbs in compound butter.
- Fresh rosemary: (see Sage ↑)
- Orange zest: Use fresh orange zest. Mandarine orange zest or lemon zest can be substituted.
- White pepper: White pepper gives the butter a mild, peppery zing without overwhelming the other subtle flavors. You can use black pepper, but its flavor will taste more forward.
How to Compound Butter
Before starting, allow the butter to warm to room temperature naturally [(66-69°F (19-21°C)]. Avoid microwaving it.
The butter should be soft and easy to work with, but not melting. We recommend setting the butter out the night before.
Combine the chopped herbs, zest, and butter in a molcajete or heavy bowl.
Use a pestle, the round end of french rolling pin, or the back of a wooden spoon to mash the ingredients together until they form a cohesive paste.
Compound butter is ready to use right away. Spread into a butter crock, or form the prepared butter into a butter log and refrigerate until ready to use.
There are countless variations of the basic compound butter recipe. Here are a few more we particularly enjoy:
- Mexican Street Corn Compound Butter
- Roasted Garlic Compound Butter
- Lemon & Herb Compound Butter: Make this herb butter recipe but substitute lemon zest for the orange zest. Use tarragon or thyme for the herbs if desired. Delicious on fish!
Our preferred "tool" for making compound butter is a molcajete (stone mortar and pestle). As the molcajete mixes the butter, it bruises the herbs and zest in the process, releasing more of their natural oils and making the butter even more flavorful.
You can make a makeshift mortar and pestle by using the round end of french rolling pin in a small mixing bowl. You can also just use the back of a fork to smash everything together in a bowl.
Refrigerate: This compound butter can be stored covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Freeze: Store wrapped butter rolls in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag for up to three months.
Top Tip: Roll a Perfect Butter Log
To form a compound butter log, place the mixed butter on a square of plastic wrap, parchment, or waxed paper. Fold the wrap up and over the log, tucking it in the other side so the whole log is covered.
Using the wrap, continue to shape the log. A cardboard bathroom tissue roll is very helpful here: carefully pull the wrapped butter through the center for a perfect-sized cylinder.
Ways to Use Citrus Herb Butter
This citrus herb butter packs a lot of flavor in a small package! Melt slices over fish, poultry, or pork, or raise the recipe bar by replacing plain butter with compound butter on casseroles, beans, rice, potatoes, noodles, breads, and vegetables of all kinds. (It's fabulous on roast butternut squash!)
We love to use this citrus herb butter for turkey prep! We butter-rub the turkey under and over the skin right before putting it in the oven, and the butter infuses it with rich, aromatic flavor as it roasts.
Citrus Herb Compound Butter
- 1 molcajete or mortar & pestle, or a large bowl and the back of a wooden spoon
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
- 1½ teaspoons orange zest
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- Before starting, allow the butter to warm to room temperature naturally [(66-69°F (19-21°C)]. Avoid microwaving it.
- Combine the chopped herbs, zest, and butter in a molcajete or heavy bowl.Use a pestle, the round end of french rolling pin, or the back of a wooden spoon to mash the ingredients together until they form a cohesive paste.
- Compound butter is ready to use right away. Spread into a butter crock, or form the prepared butter into a butter log and refrigerate until ready to use.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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